Turkish Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 2018 , Vol 64 , Num 2

The incidence and most common levels of thoracic degenerative disc pathologies

Ayşegül Sarsılmaz 1 ,Esin Yencilek 2 ,Ümmühan Özelçi 3 ,Tevfik Güzelbey 1 ,Melda Apaydın 3
1 Department of Radiology, Yeditepe Medical School, İstanbul, Turkey
2 Department of Radiology, University of Health Sciences, Haydarpaşa Numune Training and Research Hospital, İstanbul, Turkey
3 Department of Radiology, University of Health Sciences, Katip Çelebi Medical School Atatürk Training and Research Hospital, İzmir, Turkey
DOI : 10.5606/tftrd.2018.1302 Objectives: In this study, we aimed to describe and characterize the incidence of thoracic degenerative disc pathologies, bulging/herniation, and the most common affected levels.

Patients and methods: Between January 2008 and May 2012, a total of 195 patients (109 females, 86 males; mean age 43.5 years; range, 15 to 74 years) who were admitted with the complaint of dorsalgia and underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the thoracic vertebral column were included in the study. Data including MRI findings, endplate and disc degeneration, disc height loss, bulging, and disc herniation were retrospectively analyzed.

Results: Of 3,348 patients, 195 patients had disc bulging/herniation. When 12 levels in 195 cases were taken into consideration, disc pathologies were found in 412 (18%) levels among the total of 2,340 intervertebral disc levels. Bulging was present in 11% (244/2,340) of the levels. Disc herniation was present in 7% (168/2,340) of the levels. The most commonly affected site was T7-8, followed by T8-9 and T11-12.

Conclusion: Thoracic disc pathologies are still a significant diagnostic challenge. Our study results show that the incidence of these pathologies is higher than expected. Keywords : Bulging; dorsalgia; magnetic resonance imaging; thoracic disc herniation